Root out ad hocism, make secretaries answerable: PSC advises govt

Srinagar: The Public Service Commission, the recruiting agency for gazette services in the state, has recommended to the government that the practice of hiring employees on ad hoc basis shall be rooted out and administrative secretaries shall be made answerable for any such appointments.
In its 57th annual report, the PSC also pointed out that government departments violate rules even while making ad hoc appointments.
“Ad hocism needs to be curbed and rules needs to be strictly adhered to. Use of pick and choose methods and non-compliance of quota for promotions causes hardship to deserving and eligible candidates,” reads the report.
The PSC not only makes appointments to civil services and other posts, but also advises departments on promotions and transfers from one service to another as well as disciplinary matters regarding government employees.
“Any departure in adhering to the quota while making ad hoc promotions and direct recruitments may create imbalance in the services leading to the violation of the Supreme Court’s directive (in Suraj Prakash Vs state judgment),” the PSC has said, recommending that administrative secretaries be held accountable for strict compliance of SRO-166, issued on 14 June 2005.
“If the provisions of SRO-166 are implemented in letter and spirit, the need for ad hoc arrangements will not arise,” it says.
According to the SRO, all administrative departments are required to refer vacancies to the PSC by January 15 every year; refer promotion quota and departmental promotion committees’ at-least twice a year (January and July); submit annual status reports, reflecting number and status of vacancies, by January 31 every year and also nominate a nodal officer for direct recruitment and promotions.
“In case any ad hoc arrangement becomes necessary, the administrative department may consult the Commission with the request to recommend candidates strictly as per merit,” it said.
It said an ad hoc arrangement “Such arrangements shall continue till regular selection is made and minimize the delay inherent in various committees at different levels which have invariably no expertise in such matters.”
The high court too had rapped the government on the prevalence of ad hocism.
Referring to own-pay-and-grade arrangement, the PSC report said the officers in this arrangement continue beyond six months in violation of Article 85 as well as apex court ruling.
“Many administrative departments in general and Health & Family welfare, Public Works and Revenue Department in particular have made OPG arrangements on pick and choose basis,” it said, underscoring that it is “unfair and detrimental” to the left out employees and results in litigations and adverse orders from courts.
The report recommended a “massive” review of recruitment rules by all departments to meet the changing requirements.
“Recruitment rules of most of the departments are obsolete. Numerous new subjects have been introduced in different universities and many students have qualified them. However, they are ineligible for posts as per existing recruitment rules.”
It said that while the rules have been framed in many departments in sixties, agriculture department has such complex rules that it becomes difficult to consider officers for promotion.
“For many services like Forest Protection Force, the recruitment rules have not been framed and as such direct recruitment cannot be done even though FPF was constituted way back in 1997.”Among others, it has also recommended departments to pursue court cases pertaining to promotions, recruitment and departmental examinations promptly so that cases are decided on merits.